Facebook has begun to mark content that may be false with a tag reading “disputed” as part of their promise to crack down on “fake news.”
In December of last year, Facebook promised to take a hardline stance against “fake news,” partnering with partisan fact-checkers such as Politifact, Snopes and ABC News to police content on the platform. Recode reports that Facebook recently began implementing their new “fake news” measures by marking stories that may be false as “disputed” while linking to articles by Politifact and Snopes.
Currently, in order to flag a story as fake, a user must report it or Facebook’s algorithm must detect it. The story will then be sent on to Politifact and Snopes who will investigate and determine whether the story is incorrect. Only when the two fact-checkers agree will the story be marked as disputed.
A fake news article published by the satirical website The Seattle Tribune was reported on February 26th but was not flagged as disputed by Snopes until March 2nd. By March 3rd Politifact had also marked the article as disputed. The current review process is designed to ensure that Facebook operates solely as a platform while the responsibility for defining “fake news” relies on Facebook’s partnered fact-checkers.